Most people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the Philippines became hopeless. They give up when the physician said, “You only have 24 hours or a month to live,” but with their will, they can survive. This is what we do when we visit them in the treatment hubs or in their houses to assist their family in providing them support and tender loving. We offer words of encouragement that there’s life after HIV.
One of the most memorable encounter with my peers was Rookie, not his real name of course. Rookie was 21 years old when I met him and just like our other clients, he too lost hope. But with the encouragement of the Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc.(PAFPI) outreach worker, Rookie bounced back from his depression and needless to say that he bounced back to life. As Rookie puts it, “I was really in six feet ground but you gave me hope and enlightened me.”
With a big heart, sincerity and dedication to our peers, PLHIVs could regain back not only their health but their self-esteem. And needless to say, they will realize that there’s more to life after enduring a few weeks or months of hospital confinement.
As what we always tell them that acceptance is the key and that nobody can help you but yourself. We’re just here to care, support and guide you, but the rest is all up to you.